Soon-to-be high school graduate truly has something to celebrate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – There’s a popular saying that goes “It takes a village to raise a child.” While the truth in that statement is undeniable, something special must exist within that child for him to truly become a man. For East St. John High School senior Darryl Isom a definite combination of the two has delivered him to his current station in life.

Isom is poised to become only the second person in his family to graduate from high school and the first to attend college when he starts at Southern University in Baton Rouge in the fall.

“I never thought I’d be in the position I’m in,” said Isom.

While it may have come as a surprise to him, some of those who are not surprised are members of the Dinvaut family — Bonnie, Billie and Brigette — who have pushed Isom toward the heights he has achieved.

Billie Dinvaut Duncan, East St. John’s business education teacher and yearbook and interact sponsor, has worked closely with Isom throughout his high school career. She recognized the teenager’s strength of character perhaps even before he did. “After many, many conversations … Darryl has matured into a wonderful young man,” she noted. “He is a very dependable, hard-working, dedicated individual.”

“(The Dinvauts) showed me that you can have all the money in the world, but they can’t take your education away from you,” said Isom. “Knowledge is power.”

Although the guidance of the Dinvauts showed Isom what he could be, what he would become was ultimately up to him. “I have big dreams,” he said.

Following those dreams, which include studying business with the hope of working in the field of human resources, has for Isom meant maintaining a schedule that might make a corporate CEO blush. Isom is senior class president, a student bank teller, a student mentor, Interact club president and a member of the yearbook staff. “I am the go-to guy when something needs to be done,” he said.

Despite the unmistakable pressure that must accompany such a schedule, it is all just a piece of a larger puzzle for the ambitious young man, preparation for the world of college and beyond — “the big league” as he called it.

“So many doors of opportunity will open,” he said.

What’s more, he has no intention of letting up after graduation. “I will continue to do everything I do here in college,” he said.

While he may be taking his will and determination with him to Baton Rouge in August, clearly much of his heart will remain in St. John Parish. With family topping his list of priorities and younger nephews still working their way through school, Isom doesn’t want to be the last in his family to attend an institution of higher learning. “I want to be the guiding light for them that the Dinvauts were for me,” he said.